The LaLaurie House
New Orleans, Louisiana

The LaLaurie House is a lavish building at 1140 Royal Street, New
Orleans, Louisiana. Most accounts agree that it was built in 1832 by Madame
Delphine Macarty LaLaurie, a wealthy New Orleans socialite.
    The ghosts in the house are of some of her many slaves. While living,
these people attended to her every whim and helped to keep up her stylish
lifestyle. LaLaurie's friends often joked that she had one slave for every
little task.
    In 1833 LaLaurie's slaves began disappearing frequently. One day a young
servant girl, Lia, ran from LaLaurie up to a roof top. She was trying to
escape and screamed for help. Witnesses on the street watched LaLaurie beat
the girl. Then Lia plunged to her death as she jumped from the roof trying
to get away. LaLaurie had the body concealed in a well, but police soon
found it. She was soon forced to sell her slaves at auction, but her friends
bought them and retuned them to their former life.
    On April 10, 1834, a fire brigade reported to a call from 1140 Royal
Street. Entering the kitchen, they found an elderly cook chained to the
floor. She claimed to have lit the fire to draw attention to the goings on
at the house. The woman directed them to the attic.
    The fire brigade could hardly believe what they saw. The attic had been
turned into a torture chamber with naked victims chained to the wall.
Corpses were rotting where they had expired. Worse still were the torture
victims, many of whom were still living. One woman had been gutted and tied
up with her own intestines. Another woman had her mouth sewn shut. When
rescuers cut the stitches, they found her mouth filled with feces. A man had
a hole cut in his head with a stick inserted to "stir" his brains. Some
people had been chained up just to starve to death. Many men were missing
eyes, ears, fingers, and other small parts of their bodies. Obviously,
despite the rescue, these people didn't live for very long.
    This time, even LaLaurie's friends turned on her. She was run out of
town and she went to Paris. Some reports claim that she died after being
gored by a wild bull while there. Others believe that she returned to New
Orleans to covertly live under the name "Widow Blanque". Her murder count
has never been accurately tabulated. During renovations, skeletons dating to
LaLaurie's time have been found, and there may be more.
    The house went through many functions, including a girl's school, a
tenement, an antique shop, an bar, and now apartments. Many of the people
living in the house over the years have witnessed apparitions, noises, and
    During the 19th century, a Black servant was awakened by the ghost of
LaLaurie choking him. She is seen in all areas of the house. A large Black
man in chains has confronted people on the stairs before vanishing. Some of
LaLaurie's other servants have been seen. During the summer of 1999 a
tourist photographed balls of light floating in the area of the roof where
Lia jumped to her death.
    The attic and staircase are among the most haunted. The building's
ghosts are still believed to be active though the current residents don't
speak about it. Ghost hunters insist that LaLaurie's spirit is evil and
still dangerous. The house is a stop on several New Orleans ghost tours.
Ghostly screams have been heard by people simply walking down the
street.Viewing the home from the outside seems to be the safest way for an
armchair ghost hunter to experience the LaLaurie house ghosts.


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